Is there a way to get past the iphone activation so we can use an iphone like an ipod?

We got iphone 6S phones recently and they are activated now.  they replaced iphone 5 phones that are now sitting on the shelf / wiped / reset.  I'm thinking about selling them but wonder either for me or the buyer - is there a way to use this without activation on a cell network?  As an mp3 player / web surfing / 'phone' using wifi and things like viber, etc.

But I can't get past the activation screen to get going on verizon.

Is there some keystrokes / trick to get it to skip the cellular activation? I remember some keystrokes on an old droid phone to use it as a wifi only device with no cell contract.
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Have you tried doing the activation on your WiFi?  I just upgraded my iPhone and I needed to turn the old one back on to test something after I'd wiped it. I went through the activation and used my WiFi as the network and when I got done it was working for what I needed to do, but obviously wasn't on Verizon's network any more because the phone number had been transferred to my new phone?

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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
not sure what I was seeing / thinking. it's working now.  thanks!
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